MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: England fast bowler Mark Wood said he had no regrets about persisting with short-pitched deliveries after hitting Afghanistan batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi with a bouncer.
Shahidi had made 24 when he took his eye off a 90 mile-per-hour (145 kilometres-per-hour) delivery from the Durham quick that thudded into the side of his helmet at Old Trafford on Tuesday and saw him hit the turf immediately after the impact.
But instead of retiring hurt, the 24-year-old donned a new helmet and carried on to top-score for Afghanistan, with 76 in a lopsided 150-run loss.
Wood, while concerned enough to check on Shahidi’s condition, had no regrets about testing him and the other Afghanistan batsmen with more short-pitched deliveries.
“Well, I was concerned when I first hit him, obviously,” said Wood.
“It was a bit of a bad blow and then it’s out of my hands really. You have to let the medical staff do their thing. I checked he was all right himself, said ‘are you OK?’. Then I was back in the game mode.”
“Morgy (England skipper Eoin Morgan) wanted me to fire another few down. If that’s what the captain wants, you listen to orders,” the 29-year-old Durham quick added.
“Once you know he (the batsman) is all right, it’s game time again.”
Told he had split Hashmatullah’s helmet, Wood grinned: “I’m bowling them quite fast... for a change!”
Wood and fellow England fast bowler Jofra Archer shared five wickets against Afghanistan as they continued an effective partnership that has helped take the hosts to the top of the 10-team World Cup table.
“I thought, collectively, we bowled really well,” said Wood. “It was difficult at times because I didn’t feel the Afghanistan batsmen were coming at us and we had to try to mix it up, get them to play a few shots.
“It was nice to try something different and get a few wickets.”
England’s victory over basement side Afghanistan was set up by an extraordinary innings from Morgan who, defying a back problem, hit a One-Day International record 17 sixes in his blistering 148.
“It was amazing, amazing,” said Wood. “I was delighted for him. Coming off his back injury scare and stuff, and not knowing how he would play or feel, I was just astounded by how well he played out there.
“A lot of the bowlers tend to sit in the back of the dressing room and try and relax but even I came out and watched that because it was great to see on such a big occasion.”